Benefits of silicon
Silicon is the most intensively studied element on the planet and it is available as optically flat substrates (wafers) up to 300mm in diameter.
The high thermal conductivity of silicon means that it is a relatively straightforward task to efficiently heatsink high-power dissipating components. In addition, silicon readily cleaves along atomic planes, making it a simple matter to cleave the substrate up into individual optical circuit ‘chips’ for subsequent packaging.
As the silicon substrate is being used as the growing surface for optical components, it is also possible to fabricate electronic components and circuits in the silicon as well, leading to a natural, monolithic electro-optical technology.
At Mesophotonics, we use silicon substrates to support our photonic crystal waveguiding circuits.
The optical waveguides themselves are fabricated using technology found in any silicon foundry. This not only allows us to be ‘fabless’, but also provides us with the route to a large number of potential suppliers.
The ability to deposit a large suite of different optical materials on silicon is well understood and thus allows the ability to select the material system dependent on functionality. Striving to achieve unique performance, we have also developed silicon-compatible, high index optical material systems.
With in excess of forty years research and development, silicon microfabrication technology is ideal for the production of Mesophotonics’ photonic crystal circuits and devices for the next generation of micro-optical systems and subsystems.